The dove: iconographic symbol of the Holy Spirit

"Veni Sancte Spiritus", sometimes called the Golden Sequence, is a sequence prescribed in the Roman Liturgy for the Masses of Pentecost and/or its octave, exclusive of the following Sunday.[1] It is usually attributed to either the thirteenth-century Pope Innocent III or to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Cardinal Stephen Langton, although it has been attributed to others as well.

"Veni Sancte Spiritus" is one of only four medieval Sequences which were incorporated into the Curial Rite before the Council of Trent (1545–63), and therefore found in the Roman Missal published in 1570. Before Trent, many feasts had their own sequences.[2] It is still sung today in some parishes on Pentecost Sunday.


Original Latin text[3] Literal English translation ICEL English translation[4] J. M. Neale's translation[5]

Veni, Sancte Spiritus,
et emitte caelitus
lucis tuae radium.

Veni, pater pauperum,
veni, dator munerum,
veni, lumen cordium.

Consolator optime,
dulcis hospes animae,
dulce refrigerium.

In labore requies,
in aestu temperies,
in fletu solatium.

O lux beatissima,
reple cordis intima
tuorum fidelium.

Sine tuo numine,
nihil est in homine,
nihil est innoxium.

Lava quod est sordidum,
riga quod est aridum,
sana quod est saucium.

Flecte quod est rigidum,
fove quod est frigidum,
rege quod est devium.

Da tuis fidelibus,
in te confidentibus,
sacrum septenarium.

Da virtutis meritum,
da salutis exitum,
da perenne gaudium.

Come, Holy Spirit,
and send out from heaven
the ray of your light.

Come, father of the poor,
come, giver of gifts,
come, light of hearts.

Greatest comforter,
sweet guest of the soul,
sweet consolation.

In labour, rest,
in heat, temperateness,
in tears, solace.

O most blessed light,
fill the inmost heart
of your faithful.

Without the nod of your head,
there is nothing in man,
nothing that is harmless.

Cleanse what is unclean,
water what is parched,
heal what is wounded.

Bend what is inflexible,
warm what is chilled,
correct what has gone astray.

Give to your faithful,
who trust in you,
the sevenfold gift.

Give virtue's reward,
give salvation's end,
give joy eternal.

Holy Spirit, Lord of light,
From Thy clear celestial height
Thy pure beaming radiance give.

Come, Thou Father of the poor,
Come with treasures which endure,
Come, Thou Light of all that live.

Thou, of all consolers best,
Thou, the soul’s delightsome Guest,
Dost refreshing peace bestow.

Thou in toil art comfort sweet,
Pleasant coolness in the heat,
Solace in the midst of woe.

Light immortal, Light divine,
Visit Thou these hearts of Thine,
And our inmost being fill.

If Thou take Thy grace away,
Nothing pure in man will stay;
All his good is turned to ill.

Heal our wounds; our strength renew;
On our dryness pour Thy dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away.

Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.

Thou, on those who evermore
Thee confess and Thee adore,
In Thy sevenfold gifts descend:

Give them comfort when they die,
Give them life with Thee on high;
Give them joys that never end.

Come, Thou holy Paraclete,
And from Thy celestial seat
Send Thy light and brilliancy:

Father of the poor, draw near;
Giver of all gifts, be here;
Come, the soul’s true radiancy.

Come, of comforters the best,
Of the soul the sweetest guest,
Come in toil refreshingly:

Thou in labour rest most sweet,
Thou art shadow from the heat,
Comfort in adversity.

O Thou Light, most pure and blest,
Shine within the inmost breast
Of Thy faithful company.

Where Thou art not, man hath nought;
Every holy deed and thought
Comes from Thy divinity.

What is soilèd, make Thou pure;
What is wounded, work its cure;
What is parchèd, fructify;

What is rigid, gently bend;
What is frozen, warmly tend;
Strengthen what goes erringly.

Fill Thy faithful, who confide
In Thy power to guard and guide,
With Thy sevenfold mystery.

Here Thy grace and virtue send:
Grant salvation to the end,
And in Heav’n felicity.


The 2004 Enchiridion Indulgentiarum grants a partial indulgence to those who recite the hymn at sunrise or sunset; at the beginning or conclusion of one's workday; or before or after meals.[6]

Musical settings

The sequence was set to music by a number of composers, especially during the Renaissance, including Dufay, Josquin, Willaert, Palestrina, John Dunstaple, Lassus, Victoria, and Byrd. Marc-Antoine Charpentier wrote two settings, H.364, H.364 a, for 3 voices and bc (1690s) and H.366 for 3 voices and bc (1690s). Later composers who have set the text include Arvo Pärt, Morten Lauridsen, Frank La Rocca, George Fenton, and Samuel Webbe.[7]


  1. ^ Liber Usualis, pp. 880-81. Solesmes 1961.
  2. ^ David Hiley, Western Plainchant : A Handbook (OUP, 1993), II.22, pp.172-195
  3. ^ "Veni, Sancte Spiritus".
  4. ^ "Holy Spirit, Lord of light, From Thy clear celestial height (Caswall) › Representative Texts |".
  5. ^ "Come, Thou Holy Paraclete › Representative Texts |".
  6. ^ Enchiridion Indulgentiarum, Concessiones, No. 26, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 4th edition, 2004, p. 71. ISBN 88-209-2785-3.
  7. ^ Come, Thou Holy Spirit, Come, Cyber Hymnal.